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The New Season Of Netflix's Horror Anthology Looks Absolutely Terrifying

If you thought Hill House was scary, just wait until your visit to Bly Manor.

Netflix has released the first teaser trailer for the second season of its Haunting anthology series, which was created by director Mike Flanagan. Titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, the new batch of episodes will tell a standalone story removed from the travails of the first season's Crain family. 

The Haunting of Hill House was an instant smash hit when it premiered on Netflix in October 2018. Based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, the series updated the novel's time setting and featured a non-chronological narrative — its events jumped between 1992 (as the Crains moved into the titular abode with the intention of renovating and selling it) and the present day (as a tragedy forced the now-adult Crain children to reunite with their father and reckon with their traumatic past).

The series drew critical raves and was publicly praised by the likes of Stephen King (whose novels Gerald's Game and Doctor Sleep were both adapted by Flanagan, and who called The Haunting of Hill House "Close to a work of genius") and Quentin Tarantino (who proclaimed the series his his favorite on Netflix, "with no competition"). Discussing the possibility of a second season with Entertainment Weekly in 2018, however, Flanagan said, "The story of the Crain family is told. It's done. I think that there are all sorts of different directions we could go in ... I love the idea of an anthology."

As it turns out, so did Netflix, and this second season will take a page from the American Horror Story playbook in bringing back several of the first season's players — such as Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, and Victoria Pedretti — in brand new roles.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is based on a classic ghost story

Like the first season, The Haunting of Bly Manor will loosely adapt a work of classic literature, updating the setting to the modern era; according to Netflix, the new episodes are set in England in the 1980s (via Polygon). This time around, it's Henry James' 1898 horror novella The Turn of the Screw serving as the basis for the story, and fans of that novel should welcome this news, as the most recent adaptation, this year's The Turning, was blasted by critics as being among the very worst films of the year. Like the book, the series will focus on a young woman (Pedretti) hired by a well-to-do older man (Thomas) to take care of his children (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth and Amelie Bea Smith) at his country estate. The woman begins to experience disturbing visions which hint at the house's tragic history, and at the presence of spirits of which the children seem all too aware.

The brief teaser trailer doesn't yield any more plot details, but it is chock full of the creepy imagery and foreboding tone that helped to make The Haunting of Hill House a hit. Interestingly, though, Flanagan has divulged in a recent interview that while The Turn of the Screw will provide the narrative thrust for this season's Haunting, the new batch of episodes was actually inspired by all of James' ghost stories. "We're looking at all the ghost stories of Henry James as the jumping-off point for the season, so it very much is a whole new deal," the director told Birth.Movies.Death. "For Henry James fans, it's going to be pretty wild, and for people who aren't familiar with his work, it's going to be unbelievably scary. I already think it's much scarier than season one, so I'm very excited about it."

As are we. The Haunting of Bly Manor premieres on Netflix on October 9, 2020.